Is Satan the One Called “Lucifer”?
Hon¬estly, I think that if you dis¬be¬lieve in Satan, you have far worse things to worry about than that, par¬tic¬u¬larly your trust of God’s Word.
Far worse, I think, is believ¬ing that Satan exists but grossly mis¬un¬der¬stand¬ing his nature. For instance, there is the lie that Satan was once a mag¬nif¬i¬cent angel named Lucifer who led a great revolt in Heaven, caus¬ing a great many angels to fall from glory with him. I call that a lie know¬ing full well it is the major¬ity view among Chris¬tians, although minor details may very from church to church and indi¬vid¬ual to individual.
When you start with a lie, though, it’s very dif¬fi¬cult to ever built to a point where truth is able to be seen, appre¬ci¬ated, and even loved. The base lies cor¬rupt every¬thing which depends upon them.
Find it no sur¬prise, then, that the Son of the Most High Yah-weh has said, “God is spirit, and those who wor¬ship him must wor¬ship in spirit and truth.” ((John 4:24, empha¬sis mine.))
Lies cor¬rupt every¬thing they come in touch with, even some-thing as holy as wor¬ship¬ing Yah¬weh. Con¬se¬quently, we must seek to expunge untruths, false¬hoods, super¬sti¬tions, and folk-lore from our doc¬trine and prac¬tice. Mis¬con¬cep¬tions regard-ing Satan are no excep¬tion, though he rev¬els in our mis¬un-der¬stand¬ing him, “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” ((John 8:44.))
I want to help clear the air of some of the mythos sur¬round-ing Satan so that truth may pre¬vail in our hearts and minds. The first issue I want to look at is whether Satan was the one called “Lucifer.”
Is Satan the one called “Lucifer”?
Accord¬ing to MarkBeast.com, “Lucifer was cre¬ated by God as a per¬fect angel. He was called Lucifer while he lived in heaven. After he sinned and per¬sis¬tently refused to repent he was thrown out of heaven. When Lucifer was cast out of heaven he lost his name Lucifer and he became known as Satan.” ((http://www.markbeast.com/satan/lucifer-satan-devil.htm)) This view seems fairly com¬mon among Chris-tians, but is it valid?
The name Lucifer can be found in cer¬tain trans¬la¬tions of the Bible, such as the King James Ver¬sion, in Isa¬iah 14:12. In more reli¬able ver¬sions, such as the Eng¬lish Stan¬dard Ver¬sion, instead of “Lucifer,” we are given the epi¬thet “Day Star” instead.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assem¬bly in the far reaches of the north;14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. 16Those who see you will stare at you and pon¬der over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth trem¬ble, who shook king¬doms, 17who made the world like a desert and over¬threw its cities, who did not let his pris-on¬ers go home?’ The Book of Isa¬iah 14:12–17
Where does that pas¬sage men¬tion Satan? Actu¬ally, that pas-sage picks up in the mid¬dle of a larger pas¬sage, a pas¬sage which ear¬lier makes it clear just who is being spo¬ken of: “…you will take up this taunt against the king of Baby¬lon.” ((Isa¬iah 14:4, empha¬sis mine.))
A lit¬tle over half of Isa¬iah 14 is this taunt against Babylon’s king, with no indi¬ca¬tion that the tar¬get of the taunt ever changes.
So where do well-meaning Chris¬tians get the idea that at verse 12, the sub¬ject of the taunt switches from the king of Baby¬lon to Satan?
Quite hon¬estly, I don’t know for sure. I can only assume ((And yes, I know what assum¬ing gets me…)) that the idea comes from two pos¬si¬ble sources, assum¬ing a bib¬li¬cal source for the notion:
The seventy-two returned with joy, say¬ing, “Lord, even the demons are sub¬ject to us in your name!” 18And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like light¬ning from heaven. The Gospel Accord¬ing to Luke 10:17–18
The logic must be that because Christ said He saw Satan fall from Heaven, then if a fall from Heaven is men¬tioned within the Scrip¬tures, it must refer to Satan’s fall. And so, such a fall is wedged into Isa¬iah 14, forc¬ing a break in the rant con¬cern-ing the king of Babylon.
How¬ever, if that is the case, and Isa¬iah 14 describes Satan’s fall, then we have a very inter¬est¬ing situation.
Now the ser¬pent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LordGod had made. ((Gen¬e¬sis 3:1.))
From Gen¬e¬sis, we know that Satan was wicked; we know that he was present in the Gar¬den with our first par¬ents, tempt¬ing them to dis¬obey Yah¬weh. ((“Wait a minute,” you may say, “where does Gen¬e¬sis 3 refer to Satan?” Fair ques¬tion. The open¬ing of Rev¬e¬la¬tion 20, quoted above, estab¬lishes Satan as “that ancient ser¬pent,” which is a fit¬ting descrip¬tion if he were truly in the Gar¬den of Eden some six to ten thou¬sand years ago.))
The prob¬lem with those who would believe the pas¬sage in Isa¬iah refers to Satan is this: How many humans were alive at the time Satan tempted Adam& Eve in the garden?
I’ll give you a hint: more than one, but less than three.
How many peo¬ple had even existed up until that point? You guessed it: three.
But what does the pas¬sage in Isa¬iah say? Who¬ever the Day Star was, he “laid the nations low”, ((Isa¬iah 14:12.)) “made the earth to trem¬ble”, ((Isa¬iah 14:16.)) and “shook king¬doms.” ((Ibid.)) He “over¬threw [the world’s] cities, [and] did not let his pris¬on¬ers go home.” ((Isa¬iah 14:17.)) All of this the Day Star did in pride¬ful antag¬o¬nism to Yah¬weh, as Isa¬iah 14:13–14 states, and for it he was cut down, cast into destruction.
If the Day Star was Satan, then when did he fall? It couldn’t have been any time prior to the events in the Gar¬den of Eden, for there were no cities, king¬doms, or peo¬ple from which to take prisoners.
I sup¬pose at this point, some peo¬ple ((Yes, I’ve seen it hap-pen.)) will attempt to rec¬on¬cile the facts by claim¬ing that a pre-adamic ((“Before Adam.”)) race of humans once existed which Satan Lucifer was granted to rule over, but he grew in pride until he rebelled against Yah¬weh, some¬how caus¬ing the destruc¬tion of those most ancient of peoples.
There¬fore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. ((Romans 5:12.))
Romans 5 should serve as the death knell for such an idea, that there were a race of humans before Adam which Lucifer ruled over. The fact of the mat¬ter is that there was no death prior to Adam and that Adam’s respon¬si¬bil¬ity — not the respon¬si¬bil¬ity of name¬less pre-adamic men — in bring¬ing death into the world is tied insep¬a¬ra¬bly to Jesus’ bring¬ing redemption.
The Day Star could not have been Satan.
So because Satan was already wicked prior to there being king¬doms and nations of men, the Day Star (read: Lucifer) could not have been Satan.
Sec¬ondly, I think peo¬ple get the idea that the Day Star was Satan’s orig¬i¬nal name or descrip¬tion from a pas¬sage in Revelation:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fight¬ing against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient ser¬pent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. The Rev¬e¬la¬tion of Jesus Christ 12:7–9
As above, the same sort of con¬nec¬tion is made: Here is a descrip¬tion of Satan being cast down from Heaven, and so a link to Isa¬iah 14 is made to sup¬port the pre¬sump¬tion that the Day Star, or Lucifer, was Satan.
A more care¬ful exam¬i¬na¬tion of this Rev¬e¬la¬tion pas¬sage, though, reveals that Satan was cast out of Heaven after the “male child” ((Rev¬e¬la¬tion 12:5.)) was born. This was the birth of Jesus, the “one who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, but was caught up to God and to his throne.” ((Ibid.))
There¬fore, because Rev¬e¬la¬tion describes Satan’s fall from Heaven at the hands of Michael & his angels as occur-ring after Jesus’ birth, it makes no sense for it to have been described as a past event in Isa¬iah 14.
Actu¬ally, what Rev¬e¬la¬tion 12 describes is Satan’s final fall from Heaven, when he will no longer be per¬mit¬ted to accuse the brethren, just as he did Job thou¬sands of years ago.
I dis¬be¬lieve that Satan was Isaiah’s “Day Star,” but I don’t find it hard to accept at all that Isa¬iah was describ¬ing the actual king of Baby¬lon. How often do human rulers fall into the pride¬ful sin described by Isa¬iah? They lift up their eyes to the heav¬ens and believe they can achieve any¬thing, with¬out God, bet¬ter than God.
Human¬ity is amaz¬ingly con¬sis¬tent: We see this behav¬ior mak¬ing its first huge step onto the scene at Shi¬nar, when mankind got together and sought to build a tower to the heav¬ens. ((Gen¬e¬sis 11:4.)) Because of the judg¬ment of God upon the men of Shi¬nar, the place became known as Babel, the begin¬nings of Baby¬lon. ((Gen¬e¬sis 11:9.))
And we see this behav¬ior come to its cul¬mi¬na¬tion in Rev¬e¬la-tion, where we learn that in the unspec¬i¬fied future, “Baby¬lon the great, mother of pros¬ti¬tutes and of earth’s abom¬i¬na¬tions” ((Rev¬e¬la¬tion 17:5.)) meets its ulti¬mate judg¬ment: “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apos¬tles and prophets, for God has given judg¬ment for you against her!” ((Rev¬e¬la¬tion 18:20.))
Satanism - 21 octobre 2008 - Rick Beckman -
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